Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World
This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in
the world by JSTOR.
Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries.
We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial
Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early-
JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please
[N. S. Vol. XLII. No. 1076
tion becomes more prominent, betraying itself
by the greater tendency of the tissues to li-
quefy and, since hydration is now less, by soft-
The experiments also bear upon the problem
of digestion and that special phase of it known
as autolysis. The first changes observable in
these reactions consist of swelling, followed
by softening and dissolution of the proteins
acted upon. Acids and alkalies have long been
known to favor these initial steps in proteolysis,
while salts have been known to inhibit them.
Their action has usually been laid to the effect
upon the enzymes themselves. As has been
pointed out before, 4 acids, alkalies and salts
produce at least as large and probably their
greatest effects upon the proteins undergoing
digestion. The important practical and theo-
retical bearings such considerations have upon
laboratory practise and in the every-day prob-
lems of the hanging of meat, its preservation
by salting, the prevention of putrefaction, etc.,
The experiments also reemphasize the neces-
sity of interpreting in the simpler language
of colloid-chemistry the mass of experimental
material now jumbled under the heading of
" permeability " studies. It means little to
say that under the influence of acids or of
substances which in living cells produce acid
effects (like the anesthetics) the " permeabil-
ity " of the " plasma " membranes surround-
ing cells is increased so that albumin gets out
or salts get in. Not only are plasma mem-
branes figments of the imagination, but noth-
ing is gained by heaping " permeability "
properties upon them. "Permeability" is a
physiological concept which needs itself to be
explained. The proteins throughout a cell
(not only in its hypothetical overcoat) can
under the influence of acids, for example, be
made to absorb water, to absorb salt, 5 to soften
and to give off albumin. And as all these ef-
fects can be reduced through the addition of
various salts, there would seem to remain little
reason to ignore for the interpretation of well-
* Martin H. Fischer and Gertrude Moore, Am.
Jour, of Physiol., 20, 330 (1907).
s Martin H. Fischer, Jour. Am. Med. Assoc, 64,
known biological facts the simple principles of
colloid-chemistry. Martin H. Fischer
Joseph Eichberg Laboratory of Physiology
in the University of Cincinnati
SOCIETIES AND ACADEMIES
section of biology and geology
academy of science and art of pittsburgh
During the year 1914-15 the Section of Biology
and Geology of the Academy of Science and Art of
Pittsburgh held fifteen meetings with an average
attendance of about 150 members. The general
topie under discussion was Evolution and the fol-
lowing papers were presented:
October 6, 1914. Dr. Frank Schlesinger, Director
of the Allegheny Observatory: "Evolution of
October 20. Professor Henry Leighton, of the
University of Pittsburgh: "The Earth's History
November 3. Dr. Chas. E. Fettke, of the Carnegie
Institute of Technology: "The History of the
November 17. Dr. A. E. Ortmann, of the Carnegie
Museum : ' ' The Direct Evidence for Evolution. ' '
December 1. Dr. O. E. Jennings, of the Carnegie
Museum: "The Evolution and Ecology of
December 15. Dr. A. E. Ortmann: "Evolution in
Apimals. ' '
January 5, 1915. Professor L. E. Griffin, of the
University of Pittsburgh: "Embryology in its
Eelation to Evolution."
January 19. Dr. "W. J. Holland, Director of the
Carnegie Museum: "Paleontology."
February 2. Professor Eoswell H. Johnson, of
the University of Pittsburgh: "Experimental
Evolution. ' '
February 16. Mr. O. A. Peterson, of the Carnegie
Museum: "The Evolution of Man."
March 2. Mr. George Seibel: "The Evolution of
Society. ' '
March 16. Professor L. E. Griffin: "Ant Be-
havior. ' '
April 6. Professor Gardner C. Basset, of the Uni-
versity of Pittsburgh: "Heredity."
April 20. Dr. H. B. Davis, principal of the Train-
ing School for Teachers: "Evolution in Educa-
May 18. Eev. Charles E. Snyder: "The Evolution
of Seligious Thought."
Charles E. Fettke,